The College of Southern Maryland’s Medical Laboratory Technology program recently received its first national continuing accreditation award from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences . The program’s standards and results since its first accreditation in 2014 set the stage for NAACLS to extend the college’s MLT program accreditation through to April 2029.
“We are super excited to earn the maximum award,” CSM MLT program coordinator and associate professor Tiffany Gill said in a press release. “We had to undergo a new process of review by NAACLS that required a lot of work and effort to prove that we go beyond expectations to ensure we are meeting quality standards for our students.”
CSM’s two-year MLT program prepares students to perform diagnostic lab work that is a critical part of patient care. MLTs perform tests that include complete blood counts, urinalysis, cross matching blood for transfusion, identifying pathogenic organisms and chemical analysis of blood and other body fluids. CSM MLT graduates can apply to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology board of certification exam to obtain national certification as a medical lab technician and for the last three years, College of Southern Maryland graduates have a 100% passing rate for ASCP certification and a 100% placement rate.
CNBC recently reported MLTs are one of the 21 most in-demand jobs in the United States. According to a 2018 study from the Mercer human resources consulting firm, the United States will face a shortfall of around 95,000 nursing assistants and 98,700 medical and laboratory technicians and technologists by 2025. Overall employment of MLTs is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Gill added that an increase in the aging population is expected to lead to an even greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or Type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.
“We’ve known for some time about the shortage projections for qualified medical professionals in many of the health care fields,” Gill said. “That’s why this NAACLS accreditation is more important now than ever before.”
Gill also said the NAACLS evaluation process included a site visit of the La Plata campus, which she said gave her great pride.
“The site visitors who came to review our program were completely taken back and amazed by how clean and beautiful our facilities were,” she said. “The lead site visitor said that of the 20 other facilities she has visited across the United States, CSM had superior facilities and innovative technology. Those types of comments speak volumes about our entire CSM team and our dedication to student success.” For more information, go to www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/credit/academic-divisions/hea/medical-laboratory-technology/.